Monthly Archives: April 2013

WIPs and Chains: Writers are Masochists!

WIPs are actually Works In Progress, but at times I feel like I’m being beaten by them. And they definitely chain me to the computer.

So, here’s my current status on THREE WISHES: still several fulls and partials out. I got a full request from an agent over whom I was particularly salivating, and was pleased to get a revise and resubmit from that. (Why pleased? Well, it means I still have a chance with that agent!)

Here’s my current status on THE EVERGREEN: on hold. And it’s killing me! My main character is tapping me on the shoulder impatiently while I wait to finish his story. But there’s no way this exact moment that I can work on the revisions for TW AND find enough time to concentrate on TE. Plus, it was spring break last week and so I’m just getting back into the swing of things. I’m hoping I can still devote one writing day per week to TE even if I’m devoting most of it to TW.

Meanwhile, my kind, generous critique partners have been patiently switching gears with me as I flit from story to story, and they’re helping me through the TW R&R. But TE beckons, and distracts me from TW.

Sigh.

Okay, and now you’ll think I’m more insane, because I also started writing a short romance (<10k words) with a holiday theme. I was reading a call for submissions and a story just popped in my head. It was more appealing than revising TW, and I felt less guilty about it for some reason than if I went back to TE. Fortunately, that’s going quickly, and I expect to finish the rough within the next couple of days. For the record, I’m not putting my CPs through this new story, but will rely on my beta readers for some good critique.

So, yeah, we’re masochists. But writing feels so good . . .  even when it is all about WIPs and chains.

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Show, Don’t Tell (Your Loved Ones How You Feel)

I was already thinking about blogging on this subject before the tragedy of the Boston Marathon this Patriot’s Day, but it’s taken on a new meaning since then.

As writers, we *always* hear “show–don’t tell!” and it can be awfully hard to do. This phrase resonates with me in my efforts to improve my writing, but I started thinking about how it really applies to life, too.

Perhaps we’ll send a quick note email text telling someone we’re thinking of him or her.* But we don’t pick up the phone to really spend time catching up with that person.

Or maybe we kiss our spouses good-bye as they go to work, giving them an absent-minded “love you,” but we don’t talk to them in depth when a spare moment arrives, saving deep emotion for a Valentine’s Day card.

Maybe we know of a loved one, or even just an acquaintance, who could really benefit from a visit, but we’re too wrapped up in our own busyness to go out of our way to show we care.

I don’t mean to sound preachy, just reflective. I know *I* fail in all three categories. It’s so easy to be caught up in the day-to-day of our lives, and we forget that we have to show people how we feel, not just tell them.

Me? I’m going to try to do better in all the ways I’ve mentioned above.

And as for Boston, I’m pretty sure I’m going to run it next year (for charity, not time–I’m pretty slow). I’m going to show how I feel by refusing to let the bad guys win.

*For the record, I really have nothing against texting.

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Be A Better Writer . . . Guaranteed Or Your Money Back! (not)

Chuckle, chuckle. I don’t charge to read my blog, silly. So you can have your zero cents back.

I did want to share what makes me work more efficiently.

You’re never going to guess.

<— It’s this Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this—> Image

What? You mean, we don’t get to be better writers by chaining ourselves to our laptops, staying up until 2 a.m., and sucking down copious amounts of caffeine?

Well . . . that works for some people. But for the majority of us, to write faster, more efficiently, and more creatively, we need our blood to flow properly to our brains (exercise) and our minds to be fully rested (sleep). I’m not going to start in with preaching about good eating habits (though I’m sure that helps, too<–says the chocoholic).

Did you know that 67.5% of writers* claim that they worked out plot details while walking in the woods? And an additional 33.5%* say that their story ideas come to them in extremely detailed dreams? The best is when you wake up and you’ve sleepwritten 2k words.

In all seriousness, there is plenty of scientific evidence (none of it cited here, of course) that exercise and good sleep habits lead to greater productivity and better memory.

It doesn’t mean you have to be training for a marathon or sleeping 12 hours a night to be a good writer. But it does mean that getting out from behind our desks a few times a week and shutting off our gadgets well before bedtime will be worth it in the long run.

For me, I try running 20-30 minutes three times a week–still working on the good sleep habits thing–and I am always amazed at how I come back from my run feeling ready to write.

Good luck, and good health!

*All statistics are totally, 100% invented.

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Why the Easter Bunny Is Evil

Image

The face of a public menace.

I’ve had a few successes this past week, including a request from an agent on Twitter’s #PitMad last Friday. (Man, that’s fun–if you haven’t done it, follow Brenda Lee Drake‘s blog to learn when the next one will be.)

I also got some helpful feedback on Miss Snark’s First Victim’s Secret Agent contest.

An editor expressed interest in my MS, which was very exciting.

So what does this have to do with the Evil Easter Bunny?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I like to celebrate success–whether minor or major–by ingesting chocolate. And there was a major chocolate religious holiday this past weekend, which has led to deep discounts on certain treats.

The trouble with Mr. Bunny is that he tastes really good. And he sits there, smiling at me, tempting me to celebrate just a little bit more . . . and then a little bit more.  Eat my feet, he tells me. Mmm, yummy belly! he reminds me. Scrumptious shoulders, he says. And then, before I know it, he’s not looking at me anymore, and I mourn his untimely demise before I start on the next one.

Maybe I should see it as my personal mission: to rid the world of chocolate Easter bunnies by consuming them one by one.

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